IMF, reserves, Vaca Muerta and lithium and stopover in Houston: the details of Sergio Massa’s agenda on his trip to the US



Massa will travel to Washington and Houston in the first week of September (Photo: Franco Fafasuli)
Massa will travel to Washington and Houston in the first week of September (Photo: Franco Fafasuli)

The Minister of Economy Serge Massa will travel in the week of September 6 to the United States and will make contact with the managing director of the IMF Kristalina Georgiev and the president of the IDB Mauricio Claver Carone in an agenda that will have as priorities the revision of the program with that organism and bilateral loans. But the official added another stop on his roadmap and will also pass through Houston, where he will have meetings with executives of companies in the energy sector.

The economic team, in a joint effort with the Argentine ambassador in Washington Jorge Arguellofinishes these days outlining the fine lines of the travel log of the head of the Palacio de Hacienda, on his first trip out of the country since he took office as minister.

As they assured Infobae official sources, the trip will have a double objective. In the first place, the “presentation of Massa as the new Minister of Economy and as Argentina’s chief negotiator”, they mentioned. In this aspect, the meeting with the managing director of the IMF Kristalina Georgiev.

Massa added another stopover to his roadmap in the last few hours and will also pass through Houston, where he will have meetings with executives from companies in the energy sector.

After the first rigorous contacts After disembarking, the minister and the highest official of the organization, along with their technical team, will have as central issues on their agenda the second trimester goal achievement reviewstill under management Martin Guzman. If the Executive Branch were to undergo this test, would receive another USD 4,000 million from the IMF to meet maturities in the coming months with the Fund itself. It remains a question whether it will continue Sergio Chodos in his place as Argentine director before the body.

Kristalina Georgieva will be one of the protagonists of Massa's roadmap in Washington.  REUTERS/Hereward Holland
Kristalina Georgieva will be one of the protagonists of Massa’s roadmap in Washington. REUTERS/Hereward Holland

Before Massa’s arrival, a technical team will arrive in the US capital to meet with their peers from the Fund to review the goals for the second quarter and, above all, analyze how the program will continue for the rest of the year. will lead the delegation Leonardo Madcurhead of advisers of Economy.

In that sense, close to Massa they assured that another objective of the tour will be “seek support for the stabilization of the Argentine economy and strengthen reserves through more markets for national exports and productive investments in strategic sectors such as energy, gas, agribusiness, proteins, knowledge-based services, industry 4.0, and critical minerals such as lithium,” they pointed out.

“These work meetings will seek concrete results for the real economyThey said close to him. In that sense, they insisted, “Massa’s main mandate is the generation of genuine employment together with the growth of the economy and, as a consequence, of tax collection.”

In addition to Georgieva, representatives of the Treasury Department appear on the agenda, and John Gonzalezadviser to the President of the United States Joe Biden for Latin America in the National Security Council. “Massa maintains, in addition to the professional link, a close personal relationship,” said an adviser to the Minister of Economy.

The meeting with the IMF will have as its main theme the review of compliance with the goals for the second quarter, which would enable a new disbursement of USD 4,000 million

A meeting with authorities from the World Bank is also planned, on the other hand, with the president of the IDB, Mauricio Claver Carone. They will be two decisive conclaves, they say in the economic team, “for expedite disbursements of existing loans and evaluate new funding opportunities for both works and productive projects”.

Massa relied on a group of officials to delegate the work prior to landing in the US capital. One of them is Ambassador Argüello, who has already acted on different occasions as Sherpas of Argentine officials during previous visits. Three weeks ago, in this sense, she accompanied the then minister Silvina Batakis to his first and last contacts with the IMF and with investors.

Sergio Massa will meet with IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone to unlock bilateral loans
Sergio Massa will meet with IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone to unlock bilateral loans

In that small table that attends the external front of the Minister of Economy two other names appear. One of them is the diplomat Gustavo Martinez Pandianihistorical advisor to Massa in international relations, although he does not have, at the moment, a designation as an official in the economic team.

Another who became relevant in this international agenda is the director of Indec Marco Lavagnaone of the leading macroeconomists of Serge Massa. Close to you they assure that “collaborates by contributing its technical knowledge in the area of ​​multilateral credit organizations”. As she had posted Infobae, the eighth floor of the ministry Lavagna reserves an office in which he can do “base”, as well as in the statistical agency. In that office works the Secretariat for International Economic and Financial Affairswhich has under its orbit the negotiation with credit organizations.

Gustavo Martínez Pandiani, Leonardo Madcur and Marco Lavagna carry out the international agenda of Economy Minister Sergio Massa

In the last few hours, the organizers of Massa’s trip added to his visit to Washington a stopover in Houston, on his last leg of the tour of the United States, and he would not go to see investors and bondholders in New York. The goal of this passage through Texas will be hold meetings with executives from the energy sectorone of those that the minister considers decisive for the income of foreign currency to the Central Bank through exports or, at least, by saving energy imports.

According to official sources, the objective of their stay in Houston will be “to analyze projects underway and investment opportunities in Vaca Muerta with representatives of the main US oil companies,” among which they named Exxon Y Chevron.

After the change in the energy area, Massa travels to Houston to meet with companies in the sector
After the change in the energy area, Massa travels to Houston to meet with companies in the sector

Finally, the roadmap of the tigrense will end with a meeting with the company’s senior staff Livent, one of the world’s leading firms that invests in lithium. Currently Livent already has lithium extraction projects in the provinces of northern Argentina.

Massa’s external front will finally be “split” in two. In the first place, the tour of the United States and later, after returning to Argentina and dealing with the internal front, he will once again embark abroad and plans to travel to France to meet with the authorities of the Paris Club.

That trip was on Guzmán’s urgent agenda before he resigned. Even his departure from the cabinet occurred hours before getting on the plane to the French capital. The former minister’s officials assured, at that time, that the technical negotiation had advanced and that the most “geopolitical” part of the restructuring remained in a second stage.

Massa will seek, in this sense, to change the conditions under which the Argentine government must return the outstanding USD 2,000 million to that consortium of creditor countries. There is space, they believe in the economic team, to negotiate a lower interest rate than the last one in force in the payment agreement signed in 2014 (9% per year) and the repayment term.

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